I write to you from grizzled old wintertime Troy, a land of nearly-black snow piles dotted with dog poo, to tell you that I’ve PUT TOGETHER MY GROW SPACE in this little apartment we moved into a couple months ago, and, as follows, to announce open season on the Flower Scout CSA.
My living space has reduced significantly, but exists in a building I now own (a building that has already required roof repair, electric work, a sink replacement and a furnace repair, and seems like it will need a lot more before our relationship is balanced). And I’ve carved out one little corner, as opposed to the small bedroom I previously used, for my new seed-starting space.
I’ll be away for the whole month of March, so I took the time to set up shelving, lights, and seed trays in order to be as ready as possible to start one million seeds immediately upon my return. I usually begin in early March each year, so this will be a late start, but I’m hopeful that with careful tending my seedlings will make up for lost time.
Last year it snowed into April; the melt was so intense and followed by so much rain that the soil could barely be worked until late May. Then it didn’t rain for the entire month of June. Every year is different, it’s true, but each year is also less predictable than the last. Growing in an unstable climate means preparing for every eventuality, as much as one can—shoring up against gale force winds, cacheing water in case of drought, and trying to nurture living soil and resilient plants that can resist disease and pest invasion.
This year, my goal is to foster stress-free plants, strong and hearty, placed smartly in combination with one another, mulched to keep moisture, fertilized with fish emulsion, kelp, and that panacea, compost tea. Rather than just extract my flowers from the garden, as I’m prone to do in busy midsummer, I’m setting up systems to document plant performance and make more space for observation. Because the heart of this business is not the floral design (though it’s the part that keeps the biz afloat, at present) it’s the garden, and the growing, and the possibilities for education, resilience, and community that come from that.
Our CSA maxes out at 25 members, and some spots have already been grabbed; I hope you’ll consider joining us and participating in the fun.
Because I’m also expecting a baby midsummer (it’s a banner year ahead, for real!) this year’s CSA will start later than normal, and run from July 25th through October 10th. Pickup, as always, will be on Thursday evenings at the Flower Scout studio in Troy. Each share includes a weekly bouquet from the garden, special seasonal treats, weekly newsletters and a few garden parties during the season. There may be more opportunities for member engagement in the garden this year as well, since I’ll certainly need a hand keeping weeds down and plants watered and harvested.
I can’t wait for growing time, but still have so much to do. Hey Spring: I see you; let’s get ready.